New release coming!

My forest ranger short story, “It’s The Hat” was accepted by Mischief Corner Books as part of their “Behind The Uniform” anthology. I tried to find a pic to go along with the characters, but couldn’t find one that was the Matt I saw in my head. 🙂

The release date is June 22 of this year. Yay! New stuff coming your way.


Flash fiction – Trip Home

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post. Something a little different this week.

Trip Home

No “Double Trouble” this week. Instead, I’m writing about the young couple seated across the aisle from me on the flight home. The whole scene moved me enough that I was drawn to bring my interpretation to paper. – Jon


Drew heaved his carry-on bag into the overhead bin and then slipped into the seat beside Brandon. He leaned forward to peer out the window at the frantic activity even at this ridiculously early hour. The shimmer of light across the damp asphalt created a monochromatic abstract punctuated with moving points of light in red and blue. He inhaled softly and was filled with Brandon’s musky morning scent and leaving a metallic tint on the back of his tongue.

“Relax, the flight’s only about an hour,” Brandon whispered.

He glanced at his husband, his chiseled face highlighted in blue from the pale lights above them. The soft sounds of the other passengers finding their seats in the predawn hour helped him remember they were not in their hotel any more. He reached with his left thumb and turned the ring that was a recent addition.

He leaned closer to Brandon as the two of them watched through the small oval window as the last of the passengers filed past them to get their seats. The soft pop of the cabin door closing served as a prelude to the prattle of the flight attendant. He smiled to himself as Brandon leaned his head against Drew’s shoulder. A moment later the soft breathing he recognized so well signaled Brandon was fast asleep. A feeling of contentment worked its way through his system at the sensation of his husband’s head on his shoulder.

As the plane taxied away from their gate, the apprehension that happened on every takeoff appeared right on schedule. He glanced down and smiled at the relaxed face mere inches from him. Nothing bothers him. He could sleep through a train wreck.

The ‘prepare for takeoff’ announcement came over the speakers, but even that had a softness appropriate for the ungodly hour of the day. The jet engines just outside his window roared to life, and the plane lurched forward. He tightened his grip on the arm rest almost imperceptibly and inhaled deeply of Brandon and as always, it calmed him.

Then there was the slight lessening of the vibrations and a second later the rattle stopped. They were airborne.

Drew looked out into the inky darkness with its patterns of lights, constantly changing as the plane gained altitude. He felt glued to his seat for a minute or two with Brandon’s head bouncing slightly against him. The exhaustion of the busy trip washed over him at that moment and his jaw opened like one of the giant anacondas from the nature shows Brandon loved to watch. His yawn grew until even sleeping like a rock, Brandon shifted in place. Then it passed and the only sights out his window were the soft billowy clouds and he heard the pilot’s reassurance that their destination was less than an hour away. He tucked Brandon’s head under his chin, his goatee rubbing against the top of his head as he drifted fitfully.

Drew woke with the gray of dawn permeating the cabin and the pilot announcing their imminent landing. He shook Brandon slightly and said softly into his ear, “We’re about to land. Did you get your beauty sleep?”

Brandon stretched, the sweet smile he’d fallen in love with creeping across his face. “Yeah, I slept just fine. You were there to keep the bad guys away.”

Drew chuckled but was filled with a warm sensation. “You don’t have to work to get lucky. I’m a sure thing now.”

Brandon shook his head but didn’t intrude on the silence of the plane.

They relaxed against each other and listened to the sounds as the plane prepared to land. Drew jumped slightly as the landing gear locked into place with a soft thud but Brandon’s presence calmed him. As they circled, he watched as the things on the ground grew in size until what he was seeing from his window wasn’t much different than how it would look out from out of a car window. Only the grass and runways of an airport were surrounding him instead of an interstate highway.

He braced himself for the landing and a few seconds later the tires bumped onto the runway and then the engines reversed. He braced himself on the seat ahead of them and waited out the short time until they were calmly coasting to their gate. Brandon reached over and squeezed his hand.

As they stopped at their gate the typical rush to unload filled the aisle almost instantly. In no particular hurry, they sat quietly until the seats ahead of them were vacating. They moved quietly in the early morning light, grabbing their bags and making their way off the plane. Brandon walked beside him as they made their way inside. At the end of the hallway he paused at the doorway for a moment and glanced at the crowd waiting to board the plane they had just left. Nerves caused his stomach to knot.

Brandon intertwine their fingers, and he glanced over with a smile as they took their first steps into this new life.

If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.